Olive Crest is a great organization focused on protecting vulnerable children in the western US. They recently posted a blog post and video about a deaf child visiting Disneyland and having a wonderful moment with Mickey and Minnie:
Here is the blog post explaining the encounter: http://www.olivecrest.org/disney-magic-happiest-place-earth/
And here is the video:
This story reminds me of how important it is to feel like you belong and how little it takes to make someone feel this way.
I have two small kids and make a point of making sure that I hear and understand what they are saying and acknowledge them and they’re point of view. That means getting at their level (phyically) and looking them in the eyes. If it was a complicated thought, I try to repeat what they said back to them. Now, I’m not perfect. Some days are more hectic and I have to force myself to slowdown so that I can really hear whay they are saying and/or see what they want to show me. I just want them to understand that I value what they have to say and value the things that they value, I hope that this approach will lead them to value their own thoughts, feelings, and voice later in life.
To be a better human, I need to expand this philosophy to my interactions with other people in my life.
Everyone wants to feel like they belong and that they matter.